Geallaig Hill GM/ES-036

There don’t seem to be many GM activations at the moment, so allow me to indulge in sharing another one of mine.

I had the morning free, so 9am this morning (British Summer Time) saw me standing on the old military road near Gairnshiel Bridge and looking at the light overnight snow on Geallaig Hill.

Forty minutes later and I was atop. It has a decent stone circle shelter surrounding the trig. point and I found respite from the northerly 20mph breeze on the outside of the south side of this.

Radio kit carried today was:
Yaesu FT-857d
W3EDP long wire/counterpoise
20m/40m linked dipole
LDG Z-100plus tuner for the W3EDP
LiFePo4 battery
Waterproof paper/pencil for logging

I was running 40 watts of power, SSB throughout.

I strung up the long wire and got to work on 40m, aware that there was a contest on. I did find a clear frequency and worked a couple of stations from Belguim, but then the QRM became too much. Also, the tuner wasn’t too happy with the long wire today, with the SWR hovering around the 2:1 mark.

I decided to deploy the inverted V, which doesn’t need the tuner. This meant moving the mast about 15m over towards my operating position. A pain, but good practice for rigging in the wind (again), which was more like a 30mph northerly by now.

When I got up and running again I had a scan around. M0MJA kindly held back his European contest pile up to work me, fully knowing I was SOTA.

I then stumbled on two gents from south of Liecester and one other (unknown) station having a rag-chew amongst the carnage of the contest on 7.140Mhz Ken, G4VSJ and Alan, M1ANN welcomed me into their net and were very patient with the QSB and QRM throughout. They thought it was remarkable that I was able to work them with 40W into a wire from a hilltop during a contest!

I called it a day after that, knowing I had been chancing my luck! Fifteen minutes to pack up, half an hour back down to the Land Rover and home for lunch.

I made a short video. It’s more of a guide to the hill and terrain for anyone contemplating it. I plan on doing some more of these, if it will help encourage operators to get out and up the Aberdeenshire SOTA summits, many of which are easily accessible.

Finally, the extended version of this hike is available at Walkhighlands


Thank you for the SOTA report and superb video. Inspirational and motivating
me to get out on the hills. Wales is open tomorrow and access to local Welsh
Borders, South Wales and the Brecon Beacons is beckoning with a vengeance
after lockdown. Looking forward to your next expedition.

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Sorry to have missed you today Fraser. The wind really messed with my antenna set-up today, so I was very late getting on the air.

73 Simon

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No worries Simon. Were you out on a hill today?

Thanks for the encouragement Ian! Look forward to hearing of your adventures, now that you’re allowed out to play.

73, Fraser

Yup, up on Creag Bhalg. Got snowed on. I’ll be posting a report shortly.

The only 1i can do at the moment, has too much qrm. Hopefully I’ll be able to be more active with restrictions being eased.
Martin 2M0KAU